Care and control
Care and control of the child may be what most parents are concerned about, as it determines who the child should live with. When parents live apart (as a result of divorce/ separation), it is almost always necessary for the Court to make an order (or parties to mutually agree) on the care and control of the child as one (or both) parents need to be entrusted to make small decisions for the child on a day-to-day basis.
Who should be given care and control of the child?
Generally, the parent who is better able to care for the child, taking into considerations all factors will be given care and control of the child.
It may also be possible for parents to be given shared care and control of the child.
Divorce may be a long-drawn process and you may wish to make an interim application for the care and control of your child before the conclusion of the divorce or in some cases, even before the commencement of divorce proceedings.
It is highly unlikely for the Court to separate siblings and give care and control of siblings to different parents.
Different from custody
It is commonly misunderstood that the parent with custody of the child lives with the child after the divorce/ separation. However, custody only relates to the right to make major decisions for the child. Whether you get to live with your child on a day-to-day basis depends on the Court’s decision (or parties’ mutual agreement) on care and control of the child.
If you are not given care and control of your child, it does not spell the end of your relationship with him/ her. You will be given access (in most cases, unsupervised and without monitoring). As such, you will continue to see your child frequently, even on an overnight basis if conditions are suitable.
See: Sections 122 to 126 of Women’s Charter (Singapore)
Practical implication of having care and control
Under HDB’s rules, if you have the care and control of your child, you will be able to retain the matrimonial flat if all eligibility conditions are met.
Your divorce lawyer can assist by:
1. Advising you on the strength of your case (if you wish to make an application for the interim custody of your child, or ask for the custody/ care and control of your child in your divorce proceedings).
2. Representing you in all proceedings relating to your child.
3. Drafting and filing the documents required by the Court.
4. Representing you in negotiations with the other party, mediation sessions and in Court.
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